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Winter colour and birds


Inspired by all the lovely pics of winter colour I dredged around to see what i could find. Not very much, but here are a few.

This is so obliging and cheers up a dark border

Another in a dark corner

Can anybody resist hellebores?

Just a bit of cheer at the front of the house

Faithfully flowering all through the winter

Lucky to have the camera handy with the batteries in for this one!

And now a few shots of some of the thousands of starlings that gather in nearby trees ready to fly off all together to their winter roost, which has been estimated to house about a million of them! What a noise they make.They only stay for about three quarters of an hour at dusk as they wait for other groups to join them. Safety in numbers! The sound of their wings as they all suddenly take of together brings a lump to the throat – we feel so privileged to live right in the middle of them! If you go a mile or so away to the actual roost you can see them coming in like great swirls of smoke from places as far as twenty miles away, and among each group is often a buzzard or peregrine on the lookout for supper. It won’t be too long now before many of them fly back north, some to Russia, for the breeding season.

There are so many it looks as though there are leaves on the trees.

Finally an all time favourite – they didn’t all survive the fox attack but let’s be glad for small mercies.

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lovely to see the nuthatch, the starlings are amazing!

27 Feb, 2012


Those starlings are amazing! And your garden has those elegant touches of colour to cheer you into spring. The irises and the viburnum are especially lovely in your photos.

27 Feb, 2012


I adore starlings when they swarm and loop in the sky, its a wonderful sight. I love your wet hellebore! Lovely blog Stera.

27 Feb, 2012


Lovely pics,Steragram..and the nuthatch is so nice..well caught..:o) We used to watch flocks of Starlings when we lived on the west coast of Cumbria..I agree,an amazing sight..We only ever see the odd one here ..such a shame.
love your Heathers :o).

28 Feb, 2012


Brilliant! :))

28 Feb, 2012


Lovely pics Stera, good one of the Nuthatch I`venever seen one here and all those starlings, gosh if you hadn`t said I would have thought they were leaves in the first pic, we have a lot so I know how noisy they can be at times, it must be very hard to compete with them near you.
Your heathers are lovely, I do like to see them and your other colours are well worth having, even more so if its in a shady spot...

28 Feb, 2012


Nice to see the late winter plants, especially those heathers. Those starlings were amazing. I've never seen so many.

28 Feb, 2012


It was nice to see your little bit of colour! You have far more than I have on my balcony! At least the Crocuses are blooming now as well as a couple of Hyacinths & some Snowdrops. In the next few days I will have some Daffs flowering as well.

Even so my winter/early spring display has been ruined by an invasion of a tiny aphids that covered every available millimetre on my poor Pansies & Violas, not a single plant has survived the onslaught! ;-((

29 Feb, 2012


Oh Balcony, what a shame - so disappointing. But you might still be able to buy some already in flower to replace some of them, and there are still lots of primroses on sale. Some of my snowdrops are going over now but there are lots of wild ones around. My usual display of many daffodils on the wild bank has been very poor - someone suggested it was because of the dry spring last year. There should be hundreds but nothing like it. Am a bit worried about the anemone blanda too - only one very poor one in flower so far, but its early days for them.

29 Feb, 2012


Thanks, Steragram, it is disappointing all right! I was looking forward to a great display as well. You are right there are indeed lots of plants on sale at present - only I can't afford to buy them! Being out of work for the last 3 years means that there are lots of things I can no longer buy & we have to spread my wife's income, from her part-time job, & the supplement I get to make up our income, to what the government considers to be the minimum for 2 people, as much as we can.

Shame your Daffs are doing as well this year as previous years. Perhaps the warm autumn/winter may have had some influence as well. One thing I've noticed is that Daffs began flowering much sooner this year towards the North of the UK than to the South. Here, in Huntingdon, East Anglia, Daffs have only really started showing their heads during this last week or so. There have been a few isolated blooms here & there but only now is their flowering season getting underway!

1 Mar, 2012


In the next village to us there are some daffs planted on the verge which normally come out in December but this year they appeared in November - totally ridiculous!

So sorry about your cash flow problem. I'm sure there are lots of folk on here who will be able to send you stuff when available if you make your needs known. I will try to remember you if I have surplus seedlings later on. Perhaps some long season perennial geraniums would fill a trough or two. Don't hesitate to ask for what you need. The only long flowering ones I have that are big enough to split are large thugs or I would send you some. Did your fuchsias survive the winter?

1 Mar, 2012


Thanks very much for your offer of surplus seedlings, I appreciate your kind offer.

It seems my Fuchsias did indeed survive the winter but then it has been a fairly mild one. I only brought in the more "tender"plants when we had that spell of terribly cold weather during February.

I have "tons" of seeds for the allotment, so many packets I don't know what to do with them! A few are flowers & I can use some of them on our balcony.

I will be growing a few tomato plants on our balcony as I do every year. This year I'm going to plant some cherry Tomatoes, like 'Gardeners' Delight'. Then our grandchildren can pick them!

3 Mar, 2012


Joly good. GD is a lovely tomato.

4 Mar, 2012


Just today I sowed 3 different varieties of F1 tomatoes I got in a swap with a gardener on another forum. I sowed them all in the same seedtray, as there were so few seeds of each, then I put them in the propagator. We'll see how they do! I'm adding a photo of them to my photos page if you are interested.

6 Mar, 2012


Couldn't see the photo, but enjoyed the thread about strawberries!

6 Mar, 2012


I never said thank you for your comments folks - all much appreciated

12 Mar, 2012


The Tomato seeds I mentioned above germinated in just 4 days! I posted a photo of the germinated seeds on my Photos page.

13 Mar, 2012


Its amazing how germination time vary so much isn't it. some appear in a few days and others take weeks! Hope they live up to expectaions.

14 Mar, 2012

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